Cookbook:Turtle Soup

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Turtle soup is a soup made from the flesh of the turtle, often the green turtle or, especially in the United States, the snapping turtle, in which case it is commonly referred to as snapper soup (not to be confused with red snapper soup, which is made from the fish called a red snapper).

This recipe is adapted from Turtle Soup at Project Gutenberg

Green Turtle SoupEdit


  • One turtle
  • Two onions
  • A bunch of sweet herbs
  • Juice of one lemon
  • Five quarts (approximately five liters) of water
  • A glass of Madeira.


  1. After removing the entrails, cut up the coarser parts of the turtle meat and bones. Add four quarts (approximately four liters) of water, and stew four hours with the herbs, onions, pepper and salt. Stew very slowly, do not let it cease boiling during this time.
  2. At the end of four hours strain the soup, and add the finer parts of the turtle and the green fat, which has been simmered one hour in two quarts (liters) of water. Thicken with brown flour; return to the soup-pot, and simmer gently for an hour longer. If there are eggs in the turtle, boil them in a separate vessel for four hours, and throw into the soup before taking up. If not, put in force meat balls; then the juice of the lemon, and the wine; beat up at once and pour out.
  3. Some cooks add the finer meat before straining, boiling all together five hours; then strain, thicken and put in the green fat, cut into lumps an inch long. This makes a handsomer soup than if the meat is left in.

Green turtle can be purchased preserved in air-tight cans.

Force Meat Balls for the AboveEdit


  • Six tablespoonfuls of turtle meat chopped very fine.


  1. Rub to a paste, with the yolk of two hard-boiled eggs, a tablespoonful of butter, and, if convenient, a little oyster liquor.
  2. Season with cayenne, mace, half a teaspoonful of white sugar and a pinch of salt.
  3. Bind all with a well-beaten egg; shape into small balls; dip in egg, then powdered cracker; fry in butter, and drop into the soup when it is served.


Turtle Soup was the favorite meal of President William Howard Taft. He brought a special chef into the White House for the specific purpose of preparing this dish.

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